Welcome to the new Cross Bike Review!

Throw Back Thursday

So today we go back in time to 1973! The things that were happening back then were.. . In the US Gas was 40 cents a gallon the average American income was just under $13,000.00 a year,average rent was $175 USD a month and $.45 could get you a dozen eggs. Hand held transistor radios were a big thing and you could own a NEW AMC Javelin car for a whopping $2,900.00. US troops withdraw from Vietnam and Watergate happened! Europe was going into a recession and Billy Jean King Defeated Bobby Riggs in the battle of the sexes.

The Tour was 60 and Eddy Merckx skipped it that year and a guy by the name of Luis Ocana from Spain won it. John Howard became the US National Road Champion for the third time. There was NO US Cyclocross Championships that year. However one of the biggest cyclocross series was born. The Cross Crusade is know as one of the biggest cyclocross series in the US but it didn't start out that big. I got one of the flyers from the 1981 race. But this series in 1973 is the one that stared the ball rolling. Tim Rutledge dug deep into a trunk and found a pic of one of the races.. The picture shows a young Tim Rutlege racing the men's C at the ripe old age of 14. This race happened at Marshal park in Portland OR.

Tim says in a email "As I recall there were three ratings—A (top level-todays cat 1’s and 2’s, B’s(cat 3 & 4) and C’s (beginner/novice). The park is rather small, but the course was cool—climbing up and then spiraling down –thru a playground, trails, and then back to the parking area/start finish line. I was on an old Huffy(Raleigh made) 3 speed with a twist shifter –Yamaha waffle motorcycle grips, rattrap pedals and a plastic (not a Unicanitor) 10-speed saddle(what we called it then). I went with a knobby tire rear and a street tire like this one on the front. A single rear Weinman long rear center pull brake. The bike weighed 28lbs. Gearing was a cottered Nevar 3 pin crank set w/40t front, 21 or 20t rear cog—this gave me a very low 1st gear."

Brad Ross runs the crusade and we wanted his comments on the pic and when he came into the scene. Here is what he had to say in an email..

"After Tim left town Jeff Haase took it over. It was called the First Mud CX Series then. I moved to Portland in '89 and Haase was running it then. He moved to Asheville NC in about '93 and Rick Potestio and Russ Humberston ran it for a couple years and renamed it the Cross Crusade. I was involved more as a hardcore volunteer at first. Then things just sort of morphed into me taking on more and more responsibility. It was probably '97 when I'd say I was pretty much in charge."

Thanks Tim and Brad for the TBTof the first cyclocrossseries that lead to the Cross Crusade! Send us your TBT cyclocross pic and a story of what was going on at that time and we will get you up on the site.